LEGAZPI CITY – The father of the football player who died in an anti-personnel mine (APM) explosion last Sunday has called for a stop to the senseless killings by the New People’s Army (NPA) terrorist group, saying he does not want a similar tragedy to happen to others.
In an interview on Thursday, Nathaniel Absalon, father of Far Eastern University athlete Kieth Absalon, said: “These senseless killings must stop now. We do not want to hear of any similar incident that happened to my son and his cousin”.
The 21-year-old Kieth and his cousin Nolven died when an APM exploded on a road in Masbate City where they were biking together with the latter’s minor son, who was also injured.
The Absalon patriarch said the deaths came as a shock to their family.
He said they still find it hard to believe that such a tragic event would befall their kind, quiet, and loving son.
“I and Keith did not talk of anything that could have had given us clue that the tragic killing would happen,” he said in mixed Masbateño and Tagalog languages via phone call.
Nathaniel said whenever Kieth was in their place in Masbate City, he was fond of strolling around together with their relatives.
“You could not notice any sign that he had a problem, or that he is disturbed by something. Nothing really,” he recalled.
Lt. Col. Steve dela Cruz, Masbate City police chief, said they are now preparing to file charges against the suspects.
“In fact right now, we are in a case conference. But we are not yet disturbing much the family of the victims because we know they are still in the state of shock because of what happened,” he said.
Both dela Cruz and Nathaniel confirmed that the APM was intentionally detonated and that bullets also riddled the victims’ heads and bodies, causing their instantaneous death.
Hundreds of people are going to Kieth’s wake at their residence in Barangay Nursery, Masbate City.
The NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)